Customer reviews should be a key component of every marketing strategy Reviews are the modern version of the tried and true word of mouth. We all know how negative reviews can impact a business. So how does a business get more 5-star customer reviews?
1) Be great at whatever you do
It should go without saying that before you can earn a 5-star customer review, you must completely satisfy your customer’s needs. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. No one is perfect and things don’t always go as planned. No matter how hard we try, there are going to be times when we don’t exceed or even meet our customer’s expectations.
2) Listen to your customers
Seems simple enough. Never assume you know what makes a customer happy or disappointed. Ask your customer and do this genuinely. I’m not sure who’s idea it was to have every checkout clerk ask “Did you find everything you were looking for?”. Try asking open-ended questions “Is there anything I can do to make your experience better?”. If you can do it, then do so.
3) Accept responsibility
If a customer isn’t happy, find out why. I’m always amazed at how many negative customer reviews are never addressed. Almost all review sites allow the merchant or service provider to respond to both negative and positive reviews. Post a genuine reply that addresses the reviewer’s concerns. Make sure and post your contact information and ask them to contact you. I can’t tell you how often a negative review can be changed to a positive one just by using this simple but effective strategy.
4) Make it easy to leave reviews
Most happy customers aren’t going to take the time to leave a review. If you are a brick and mortar store, you can easily add a link to the review site of choice on your sales receipt. If your sales are online, follow up after they have received your product or service. Ask your customer if they are happy with their purchase. Then follow up with a link to the review site of your choice.
5) Set up your company profile on multiple sites
There are a couple of advantages to doing so. Your customer may already have an account on at least one of the sites. This makes it easier for them to leave a review. Customer reviews on multiple sites tend to send a stronger social signal. When you are first starting out, make sure you have a Google Business page and Yelp account. These are the most common results shown by search engines.
6) Thank your reviewers
Your customer took the time to leave a review for your service or product. Thank them for doing so. This is import for both negative and positive reviews. This may be even more important for negative customer reviews. Use this as the first step in trying to turn a negative review into a positive one.
7) Make customer reviews part of your sales process
Make sure all sales and customer service employees understand how important and valuable reviews are. Consider implementing a bonus system for employees that are responsible for the most positive reviews. This is one of the most cost effective marketing methods.
Customer reviews can have a dramatic impact on both marketing and sales. Implementing a review strategy is simple and well worth the effort. Positive and negative reviews are powerful social signals. Reviews can be used to improve customer service and reward employees who go beyond what is expected.